̶ Imagine her jet-black hair and ruby-red nails, her glowing skin and dark eyes; imagine the flash of the dagger as time and again she stabs it between her fingers. Picasso wanted to change his life, he was ready to fall in love. That afternoon on the terrace of the Deux-Magots was when Dora Maar seduced him.
Over the meal, we spoke of the master and his mistress: In your purse you’d discovered a bookmark from the Picasso Museum in Barcelona.
̶ What I don’t get, Sprague, is why as soon as his women got close to him, he turned them into doormats.
̶ They weren’t all like Dora Maar. Françoise Gilot never let him wipe his shoes on her. And Jacqueline Roque always had the upper hand. She appealed to the worst in him, and it worked. She didn’t commit suicide until thirteen years after he died.
̶ And what about Marie-Thérèse Walter?
̶ She hanged herself four years after Picasso’s death.
̶ But Dora—
̶ She said, ‘After Picasso, there is only God’. She sought refuge in religion.
̶ What a man! But why did he go in for this goddess-to-doormat thing? Why would he need to abuse and humiliate?
̶ He had a genius for manipulation. Never allowed himself to be vulnerable, always insisted on complete control. What’s behind that, we’ll never know.